with Maria Fhebie Ortil

The Bangsamoro Halal Cuisine is now in Volume 2, Number 9 Issue of the Philippine Muslim Today.

For this issue, I am going to feature a Malaysian Halal Cuisine known as “Ayam Masak Merah” or Chicken in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Ayam Masak Merah has unique flavours, the taste is beautiful and unforgettable although it shares some basic similar spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise and chillies) to Chicken Curry.

It is distinctively different, be it in the texture of the chicken or the tantalizing flavours in the sauce.



2 x 0.9-1kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces/chicken
20 dried chillies, soaked
2 red onion
5 cloves garlic
40 g (2 oz.) ginger
25 g (1 oz.) galangal, lengkuas
5 lemongrass
2-3 star anise
4 cloves
3 inch cinnamon
3 cardamom
1 can tomato soup
1 can (400 ml/13 oz.) coconut milk
salt to taste
vegetable oil for deep frying plus ¼ cup extra
1 cup peas, optional


  1. Preparing Chicken. Rub chicken with turmeric and salt.
  2. Set aside for 30 minutes. Heat up the oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken pieces until golden in colour.
  3. Set aside. Roughly chopped red onion, ginger, galangal and lemongrass, then transfer to a blender or food processors.
  4. Add in chillies and garlic. Process into a paste.
  5. Heat up the wok with ½ cup of oil.
  6. Sauté the spices : Cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom until fragrant.
  7. Then add in the blended paste. Bring the heat up until the paste bubble then lower the heat.
  8. Simmer till the paste is thoroughly cooked, fragrant and the oil separates from the paste (pecah minyak).
  9. Add in canned tomato soup, coconut milk and chicken pieces. Bring up the heat for a quick boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickened.
  10. Add peas and season with salt to taste. Garnish with some spring onion before serving.

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